Baseball – the story so far……

Well, the baseball season has begun and after thirteen games the New York Yankees lie bottom of their division. This is not as bad as it sounds. Just two days ago, we were pushing for the top slot but two consecutive defeats against Boston leaves us with a 6-7 record so far. So good points and bad points……?

Pluses

Chien-Ming Wang (p). 22 innings pitched. 3 wins – no losses. 1.23 ERA. 1 complete game. Wang continues to be our strongest starter which we have needed since the bats have been quiet. He’s worked his way out of a couple of difficult situations but it’s been smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Joba Chamberlain (rp). 4 appearances, 5.1 innings. No runs. It’s like last post-season never happened. He’s near untouchable once more.

Brian Bruney (rp). You’re always left wondering which Mr. Bruney will turn-up. So far, it is the guy who gets people out. He also gave us a surprise start. 7 innings. 2 hits. no runs.

Melky Cabrera (cf). Despite a two-day suspension, Cabrera continues to be wonderfully consistent when available. 2 home runs and a .290 BA

Minuses

Ian Kennedy (p). Was supposed to be better than this. 13.50 ERA gained in a game when we were very glad to still have Albaladejo around (see below).

Phil Hughes (p). Was supposed to be better than this. 9.00 ERA and still looking for his first win after 3 starts. The young pitchers are wobbling.

Kyle Farnsworth (rp) As predicted. At the moment, he’s eating up a few innings in games we were on the way to losing but he’s not delivered for too long and the change of manager hasn’t seen a change of performance.

LaTroy Hawkins (rp). Difficult start for Mr Hawkins but it is early days yet. 9.00 ERA in 6 appearances.

Jose Molina (c). Jose Molina became the surprise starting catcher when Posada continued to struggle with health difficulties but his strong performance was no surprise. Now he looks as though he is headed for the disabled list with ligament damage which leaves the catching spot looking barren unless Posada improves physically.
 
Derek Jeter (ss). Noticeable only by his absence through injury after a quiet first few days. We need him back and quickly.

Jason Giambi (dh / 1b) No surprises here. His first noticeable contribution was a fielding error. His .107 BA says it all.

Surprises

Billy Traber (rp). Also 4 appearances. 3.1 innings and no runs. I don’t how long this can last but our wouldbe left-hand specialist has already delivered more than I expected if he starts to lose it tomorrow.

Andy Pettitte (p). Came back from DL earlier than I’d expected. And settled into his normal role without much hesitation despite all the off-season problems. 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA isn’t world-beating but it is more than expected at this stage.

Jonathan Albaladejo (rp). One of the few on the opening day roster I wouldn’t have guessed. Made a strong early debut when Kennedy’s first start fell apart. And then he was gone….. back to Scranton (AAA).

Robinson Cano (2b). Cano had a strong spring but so far his bat hasn’t shown up since the start of the regular season. He’s usually so consistent too.

Alberto Gonzalez (ss). Shortstop looked set with Jeter installed and Betemit as occasional backup. Jeter’s injury meant we had to consider the options and Gonzalez was brought up from Scranton (AAA) as being defensively stronger than Betemit. His .385 average since arriving makes this all the better and all the more surprising. Makes Betemit’s future a little questionable.

Shelley Duncan (1b). I said there were question marks in the long term for this guy but nobody expected him to be off the 25-man roster within a week. Ensberg is delivering (surprise!) and Giambi is paid too much. It may mean that Duncan is the odd man out and not just in the short term. 

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