Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yankees locked and loaded for second half

The New York Yankees will likely make a big move in the second half simply because they are the New York Yankees. But they really don't have to.

Not to sound cocky, but I think the Yankees are in great shape. The key, of course, is their pitching. CC Sabathia is just off-the charts good right now and he is usually even better in the second half of the year. The arm injury to Phil Hughes could turn into a blessing in disguise if he can bounce back in the last three months and dominate like he did in the first half of the 2010 season. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia just need to keep doing exactly what they have been doing, keeping their team in games and even dominating at times. If AJ Burnett ever started pitching like the #2 guy that he is supposed to be, then the Yankees would be unstoppable. But I’m not counting on it.

My only concern in the bullpen is health, particularly the health of Mariano Rivera after he had the arm problem last week. As long as he and David Robertson are healthy, I think the Yankees won’t need bullpen help. But Brian Cashman is probably scavenging for another lefty arm just in case Boone Logan starts getting drilled by lefty batters again. Rafael Soriano is supposed to be back in 7-10 days, but I’m not counting on anything from him and I don’t think he should just be given the 8th inning job back without proving himself first.

Even without Alex Rodriguez, I think the Yankees lineup will be fine. Curtis Granderson had a monster first half and Robinson Cano may be the best pure hitter in baseball. Eduardo Nunez proved he can handle the bat subbing for Derek Jeter, who will have a much-better second half now that he is free of the pressure of 3,000 hits.

The Yankees are locked and loaded. The second half of the year should be a lot of fun.

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