I used to do a 10 Game Rewind in my previous blogging career that basically recapped every 10 game span the Yankees had. At the moment, I am incredibly busy and can’t possibly do that for every 10 games the Yankees have, but I figure I can do it for each month. So here we go…
A Month in Review: The April Edition
First, Mr. Lombardi expected the Yankees to go 13-9 this month.
April Record: 15-7 (@ BOS, 2-3; @ TB, 2-3; vs LAA, 2-3; vs TEX, 3-0; @ OAK, 2-3; @ LAA, 1-2; @ BAL 2-1; vs CWS 1-0)
Season Standings: Tampa Bay (17-6); New York (15-7); Toronto (12-12); Boston (11-12); Baltimore (5-18)
Team Offense: .816 OPS
- Robinson Cano–I will honestly be shocked–SHOCKED–if Cano is not the Player of the Month for April. His 1-4 game last night brought his average down to .400. There are 4 separate Yankee regulars whose slugging percentages are lower than Cano’s batting average. Also, not only is he hitting everything thrown to him, but he is hitting everything thrown to him well. In addition to the obscenely high average, he is slugging .765 with 14 extra base hits including 8 home runs. Cano’s OPS+ is 225.
- Jorge Posada–Posada is having a nice start to the 2010 season. Right now he is sitting with a line of .310/.394/.638. His OPS+ is 180. He is having a difficult time behind the plate, but honestly, if he keeps hitting the way he has been, I can forgive him for most of his defensive woes.
- Derek Jeter–Jeter had an excellent April finale last night driving in the tying and winning runs. In addition, his 3 hits last night made him the active hit leader surpassing Griffey Jr. Overall, Jeter finished up the month with a .330 average and 4 home runs. At the moment, it seems very likely that Jeter’s 2010 campaign will be just as good as his 2009 season. Yes, yes very early and all that. Whatever.
- Mark Teixeira–Yankee fans were hoping that an MVP caliber 2009 season and a World Championship would mean that Teixeira would get off to a good start this year. Well, his April woes continued. First, he had the worst start of his career by opening the season 0-19. For the entire month, he batted .136 and he slugged .259. Seriously, his slugging percentage is .259. At least he has taken 17 walks so he isn’t completely useless.
- Curtis Granderson–After a very promising opening series in Boston, Granderson hasn’t done much of anything. For the month of April he has a .221/.310/.377 line. In addition, he splits are the same as last season. He is batting .172/.200/.241 against lefty pitching. He should perhaps sit against a few of them, instead of Brett Gardner. I fully expect his numbers to return to his career norms.
- Nick Johnson–Yes, Nick Johnson has a .383 on base percentage, but that is almost entirely due to his 21 walks. His batting average is .138. So yes, Nick Johnson is extraordinarily selective, but as MJ pointed out earlier this month, it is entirely possible that he is too selective. I’m not advocating free swinging, but if every once in a while he could swing at meatball pitch and get a hit–possibly extra bases, possibly moving a runner an extra base–instead of taking the walk, I would be happy.
Team Pitching–3.55 ERA
- The Starters sans Vazquez–Normally, I would list specific pitchers, but really, the entire rotation is rocking with one notable exception. Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, and Hughes are a combined 11-1. That one loss came in a complete game (8 innings) 3 ER effort by Sabathia. Sabathia’s ERA is the highest of the four with 3.12.
- Mariano Rivera–Yep, he is still Mariano Rivera. He only pitched 9 innings, but his ERA is still hanging out at 0.00. He has more strikeouts, 9, than base runners, 5.
- Javier Vazquez–He won’t end the season with an ERA of 9.00, but it probably wasn’t a good thing for him to start that way. Vazquez having a slow start, is not like Teixeira having a slow start. Yankee fans know that Teixeira will hit for them. Yankee fans do not know if Vazquez will pitch for them. Yankee fans only remember 2004, and really they only remember the 2nd half of 2004 and one gut-wrenching grand slam. I trust that he will get his ERA down to a respectable number, but I fear Yankee fans will do everything in their power to make that a difficult task. If Vazquez gives up an infield single in the first inning today, he will be booed.
- David Robertson–Robertson did not start 2010 where he left 2009. His ERA is chilling at the lovely 10.80. Luckily, this is only in 7 games and 5 innings of work, so it will hopefully improve.
Odds and Ends
- I rather like Francisco Cervelli. I think he is an excellent back up catcher, and if he keeps hitting the way he has been, he could maybe be an excellent everyday catcher.
- Brett Gardner has been a nice surprise this season. People were a little afraid that he wouldn’t be able to hold his own as a regular, but, in this small sample size, he is showing them wrong. His slugging is only .385, but his value comes from getting on base–which he does–stealing bases–which he does–and taking those extra bases–which he does.
- Marcus Thames has been a very good bench player. He is simply killing lefties so far this year. But seriously, what is up with the pronunciation and spelling of his name? They don’t mesh.
- Chan Ho Park is still hanging out on the DL. After a recent MRI, it appears that his hamstring injury is exactly the same as it was a couple of weeks ago. Who knows when he will return.
So, until next month…