Thursday Morning Thoughts And Afterthoughts

I haven't written much lately and I really didn't follow the last few days very closely save for the box scores, but as usual there's been a lot going on in Yankeeland during that time.  This post serves as my short form, hot take catch-up on a lot of those happenings. - Yesterday's win was a welcome change of pace from the preceding 3 games.  Those were really ugly.  You never get too worked up about 1 start when you're talking about guys like Tanaka and Pineda, unless you want to look like a fool in front of your reading audience, but they were both pretty bad in their games and 34 runs in 3 is waaaaaayyyy too many runs.  There's practically zero chance to win when that's what your pitching staff gives you.

- As little concern as I have about those 2 guys going forward, CC Sabathia is another matter entirely.  He was responsible for a chunk of those 34 runs himself, and once again they came in what has become the all-too-common fashion for CC.  A few bad pitches here, a few home runs there, and you've got 6 on the board before the 5th.  CC has been a disaster this season.  There's no other way to paint it at this point.  His 5.65 ERA ranks 97th out of 102 qualified starters, and the consistency with which he gets beat by a few bad pitches and 1 bad inning makes him a case where his xFIP and K rates really doesn't tell the true story.

The truth is that CC has pitched way worse than his peripherals.  His HR rates and high ERA are the truest representations of what he is as a pitcher now and that pitcher is not one that deserves to stay in the rotation.  CC continuing to get the ball every 5th day or so is hurting the team's chances of winning.  They're better off without him in the rotation and the brain trust has to know that by now.  We already know that he's not going anywhere.  Joe said as much in his post-game comments after CC's last start.  When it comes to decision making in Yankeeland, money talks louder than performance or winning.  It's a shame too, because CC could probably be an effective multi-use lefty reliever.

- I mentioned this in the game recap last night, but nice little run Chase Headley has going at the moment.  7-game hit and run scoring streak, 4 multi-hit games during that stretch, and he's done all of it hitting 2nd between Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez.  Headley's OPS this month (.642) is his lowest of any month this season, so he was really struggling before this last week.  I'm sure being sandwiched in between the 2 best hitters on the team has been a major contributing factor to this mini-hot streak, but maybe this can help get Headley going for the rest of the year.

- If it can, the Yankee lineup could finally settle into the deeper, more balanced form it was supposed to be later in the summer.  Ellsbury comes back, Headley and Beltran go down to lengthen the middle of the order, McCann and Didi keep hitting, and suddenly that's a tough trip for a pitcher: Ellsbury, Gardner, A-Rod, Teix, Mac, Beltran, Headley, Didi, Drew/Pirela.

- Nice to see Chris Young come back to life offensively in the last week too.  He also has a 7-game hit streak going, with a home run, 6 R, and 5 RBI in that span.  He looked cooked a few weeks ago, now he's back up to .253/.298/.468.  Not bad for a bench bat.

- It's astonishing to me how the Yankees haven't been able to get anything out of this back end bullpen merry-go-round.  They've got so many arms that it would seem like 1 of them has to hit at some point, but it's been a lot of garbage.  Sergio Santos going down with a major elbow injury hurt a lot.  Who would have thought we'd be saying that in 2015?

- With the roster moves yesterday, the Yankees look like they're going to roll with a 6-man bullpen for now while they work with the 6-man rotation.  Perhaps someone from the Nick Rumbelow-Bryan Mitchell duo can step up and give Joe some good innings.  Mitchell had been pitching well as a starter, but the Yanks elected to keep him on the roster and he's an interesting option as a flex guy.  He's got the ability to pitch multiple innings and work as a long reliever if needed.  He's also got the stuff to be a potentially shutdown short-work guy.

- Fun fact: Alex Rodriguez is still top 10 in the American League in home runs, RBI, BB rate, slugging percentage, wOBA, and wRC+.  He also isn't far off in runs scored and fWAR.  Simply amazing what he's been able to do this year.

- Another fun fact: If the season ended today, Brian McCann's .825 OPS would be his highest since 2010.  He's right back up to his career averages after the big down year last year and he's really not getting enough credit for it.  Way you be, Big Mac.