The Yankees entered a crucial stretch on Monday night and got off to a good start. They beat the Royals 6-3 as they hit 5 home runs. Most importantly Aroldis Chapman returned and made his first appearance on Monday. Chapman could be a huge lift for that team as it allows them to use Betances or Miller earlier in games.The next few weeks looks like this for the Yankees:
3 more with the Royals
3 with the the first place Chicago White Sox
3 at Arizona
4 at Oakland
3 against Toronto
3 at Tampa Bay
3 at Toronto
3 at Baltimore
Right now the Yankees are 12-18 and it is so early that looking at how many games back in the division or Wild Card is irrelevant right now. But the Yankees have not played well of late and they have to travel and play a week out on the West Coast. They have a ton of division games upcoming. I know the Diamondbacks are up and down and Oakland is not a very strong team but strange things happen when teams go on the West Coast. It will be important for New York to finish their home stand off strong to build momentum for the upcoming road trip.
Currently the Yankees have been hit by the injury bug as Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia have gone on the 15 day disabled list. A-Rod was coming off of a strong weekend at Fenway Park and was placed on the DL with a strained right hamstring. C.C. Sabathia was coming off one of his best starts in 2 years against the Orioles but has a strained left groin. Right now there is uncertainty surrounding Jacoby Ellsbury as he has not played since Friday night after injuring his hip. There is no question that this is an older ball club and right now they are showing their age. They are in the middle of an important stretch of baseball and they are not 100 percent. You cannot win divisions in May, but you can lose them. We will learn a lot about this New York club over the next couple of weeks.
- Other Notes:
- The Nationals agreed to a 7 year, 175 million dollar extension with Stephen Strasberg, which is the largest contract ever to a pitcher who had TJ surgery. The 27 year-old is 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA this season. It is a huge risk for the Nationals as Strasberg has not always been healthy over the course of his career. When healthy, he is one of the top right-handed pitchers in baseball. Strasberg would have been a free agent after this season in weak class of potential free-agent starting pitchers. Right now, the remaining potential top free-agent starters are Brett Anderson (who is recovering from back surgery), Andrew Cashner, Jorge De La Rosa, Jeremy Hellickson, Bartolo Colon (42 years-0ld) R.A. Dickey (41 years-0ld), Rich Hill, and C.J Wilson. Not a strong class for teams who are going to be looking to improve their rotations in the off-season.
- Steven Matz beat the Dodgers last night going 6 innings give up 6 hits and 2 runs while striking out 6. He is the 1st Mets pitcher to win 9 of his first 10 decisions.
- King Felix became the Mariners all-time leader in Wins with 146. Still only 30 years- old, King Felix could shatter that record by the time he is ready to retire.