This could be an interesting week for the Yankees

I feel like we have been here before. The last couple of the seasons the Yankees had a solid start with different players coming through in the clutch.

And, then, things fell apart – or more that it just stays even.

New York has lost 7 of its last 8, and won just two games on its recent nine-game road trip. These two days off this week may very well be needed as it starts a six-game home stand followed by a seven-game West Coast road trip tomorrow. Their next day off is not until June 4.

This coming week could be an important one in the Yankees season. Two months in, and things start to potentially show how the Yankees are going to play for the rest of the season.

In 2013, the Yankees were 30-18 on May 31. Starting on June 1, they finished the season 54-53, a mediocre team.

Last season, New York was just average the entire time with a few moments where it looked better than just OK.…

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Tanaka looks to rebound against the Red Sox

Tanaka vs TOR 2015

Courtesy of the AP

This early in the season, you want to find positives about the Yankees.

Yet this team has made it difficult with its blunders on defense, mistakes on the base paths and the poor hitting thus far. However, even after all that, one of the biggest topics that New York is going to face this year is the effectiveness of Masahiro Tanaka.

The Yankees signed Tanaka for $155 million for seven years. Last season, he suffered a partial tear of the UCL of his right elbow, and after his terrible first start of 2015 many have wondered why Tanaka didn’t just get Tommy John surgery since all the cool kids are doing it.

The Yankees have said that Tanaka is still working back and haven’t sounded the alarms just yet.

“This is not totally shocking,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told reporters. “I think he’s still in the process of building arm strength and everything. His arm strength is not far off.…

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Let’s forget about a closer for a little while

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has yet to name a closer for this season.

Hopefully, it stays that way.

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances are the two big arms for the back end of the Yankees bullpen and Wednesday was a glimpse in how they should be used this season. Girardi brought in Betances, a righty, to face the Toronto Blue Jays’ big right-handed bats in the heart of their order in the eighth inning: Russell Martin, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Miller, a lefty, finished the ninth in order.

Betances didn’t pitch a clean inning, giving up two walks, but he was brought in when New York was down 2-1 in the eighth to keep the Yankees within striking distance. Even though an unearned was given up on Brian McCann’s throwing error, the Yankees still had life, and they took advantage of it the next inning by scoring three runs.

The key is that Betances and Miller knew their roles heading into the game based on the lineup.…

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Sad night for baseball: Oakland 7, Yankees 4

ZimmerThe actual baseball game didn’t seem to matter for one night. About midway , through, the baseball world learned the beloved Don Zimmer had died — right around the time of Yoenis Cespedes‘ second home run of the night.

Zimmer, 83, was part of those magical late 1990s teams. He was New York’s bench coach from 1996-2003, but also had stints with the Yankees in 1983 and 1986. Zimmer was brash, funny and was a wonderful baseball lifer.

One wonders what he would think of the current state of the Yankees. The A’s scored seven unanswered runs on Wednesday, beating New York 7-4.

New York pitching gave up three home runs, the last coming in the seventh inning by Josh Donaldson off Yankees reliever Jose Ramirez, who made his MLB debut. Donaldson smashed a 95-mph fastball that missed its spot.

Trailing by four runs early, the A’s gradually worked back. Cespedes started the comeback with the first of two solo home runs in the fourth to make it 4-1.…

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It’s good to be back: Minnesota 6, Yankees 1

theres_no_place_like_home_matWelcome home, Yankees.

Not really. The Yankees are now 11-12 at home this season (they are 17-13 on the road).

This time, the loss came at the hands of the Minnesota Twins and New York dropped the game 6-1.

New York starting pitcher Vidal Nuno lasted nearly seven innings without walking anyone. He scattered seven hits, but three of those went for home runs.

On the other side of the ball, New York actually went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but ugly base running managed to keep the Yankees off the board.

New York’s lone run came in the third when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled in Brett Gardner.

The good

– News came out before the game that Carlos Beltran’s elbow is feeling much better. He hopes he can return to the Yankees lineup without surgery.

– Brett Gardner swiped two bases raising his season total to 13.

The bad

– Nuno got touched up for three home runs.…

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New transfer rule interpretation goes against how players are taught

Has anything been more annoying in baseball this season than the new interpretation of the transfer rule?

We’ve had pine tar issues, catchers can’t block the plate, and replays galore.

However, the most universally hated “new rule” has been the interpretation of the transfer rule. Essentially, after a player catches a ball – whether it be turning...

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Why players don’t care about Michael Pineda’s “dirt”

Bk6idBvIAAEsBRAMichael Pineda threw with the type of gusto through Thursday he had three years ago when the Yankees traded for him from Seattle.

His slider made batters look foolish. His fastball set up off-speed pitches. And he mixed in a cutter and changeup to keep the Boston Red Sox off-balance.

However, on Friday morning, no one seemed to be talking about Pineda’s pitching performance. Instead, it was about the substance on Pineda’s pitching hand. Television stills showed a brown substance on the base of the palm of his hand.

Pineda called it dirt. Others called it pine tar.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t know anything about it.

The Red Sox players said it didn’t matter.

There are reasons that it doesn’t matter to Boston – or most players asked around the league.

1. No one wants to be the team to point it out. If a manager does, he will set up his own team for the same kind of scrutiny.…

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