The Yankees have started out surprisingly strong despite the revelation of a lot of uncertainty in the offseason.

The team is 10-3 and sitting in first place in the American League. After a shocking sweep of the Astros in the opening series, the Bronx Bombers have only dropped one game in each of the last three series. The starting rotation has held its own despite the loss of Gerrit Cole. The offense has seen some much-needed improvement, with Juan Soto leading in RBIs, Giancarlo Stanton leading in home runs, and Anthony Volpe leading in batting average. Speaking of Volpe, he’s showcasing his golden glove again.

The explosive start is a pleasant surprise as the Yankees aim to return to the postseason, but there’s six months to go and the Yankees could certainly still take a nosedive the same way the New Jersey Devils nosedived. 


The Defensive Strategy

Nestor Cortes started Opening Day by giving up four runs in two innings, and Yankee fans across the nation braced themselves for more despair. Luckily, Cortes held strong for three more innings and the Yankees’ bats clawed the team back to a win. It was only up from there. Marcus Stroman leads the team in strikeouts, Carlos Rodon sports a 1.72 ERA, and Clay Holmes has brought down the hammer as a relief pitcher with five saves. Luke Weaver has also been impressive, with three wins under his belt. 

Bryan Hoch reported that Cole has begun playing catch, but he’s limited to 25 throws. The recovery is going to be a slow one for Cole, and he has taken issue with the MLB’s pitch clock rules during his time off. The MLB Players Association (MLBPA) raised concerns about injuries arising from shortening the pitch clock, and Cole stated that he didn’t think MLB’s response to the MLBPA’s concerns was very thorough. He felt that the MLB was being dismissive of the issue.

In the field, Volpe is making plays. The local New York kid is looking to be the next superstar franchise Yankee shortstop, and he’s started out hot early in his sophomore year. So far, he’s made sliding grabs and over the shoulder catches. Volpe sports a fielding percentage of 95% to go along with his .372 batting average. It may be too early to make the case, but Volpe is already looking like he could win his second Gold Glove.


On the Offensive Front

We know Volpe leads the team in batting average while launching three-run home runs, but he’s also stolen three bases in 12 games. Soto and Aaron Judge are expected to perform well offensively, and both have two home runs on the year. Soto leads the team with 18 hits, 12 RBI, and is second behind Volpe with a .360 batting average. Soto’s first homer came in the third game against Houston, which gave New York the lead. His second was a three-run shot to right field in a 7-0 win against the Marlins. He has more walks than strikeouts, and he’s generating the runs the Yankees sorely missed last year. 

Judge has been quiet despite having two home runs, batting .178. He has one more walk than strikeouts and six RBI while rebuilding from his toe injury, so his offensive production may change as he gets more comfortable. Stanton’s doing his job as the DH, with four home runs and looking stronger offensively. Oswaldo Cabrera has also looked good, batting .333/.389/.545 at third base.

Continuing to Battle

The Yankees will have to continue to weather the injury storm despite their hot start. They may not stay hot forever, but the injuries will still be a factor. Cole will eventually return and the injury hopefully won’t be a problem any further. So far, the starting rotation has duct taped over the cracks and shown they can hold their own without Cole. The relief pitchers have been a big part of shutting down teams and letting the bats go to work.

Friday’s game against the Guardians has been postponed, and the Bombers will have to wait until Saturday to face a tough team. The Guardians are 9-3, which could tell us more about the strength of this Yankee team. The strong start has revived the Yankees for now, and fans excitedly await the rest of the season and a potential return to the postseason. Also, Aaron Boone getting tossed for the 34th time after thirteen games feels like it might be an omen.

Of what? That I don’t know.

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