Hope. We have hope. The Yankees drastically changed their lineup with the addition of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo seems to have added a spark to this team. He brings a leadership factor to the clubhouse that was in desperate need of a leader who has won a World Series. Rizzo knows what it takes to win, the Yankees need that kind of leadership. I cannot believe the Red Sox didn’t make more of a play for him.
Joey Gallo is a left handed Aaron Judge. Gallo is highly athletic, bringing solid defense to left field. His at bats tend to be home run, strike out, or walk. I am usually against this mentality however the Yankees are so desperate for left handed hitting that, one dimensional or not, Joey Gallo is a welcome addition. Gallo has already stepped up to the New York pressure by hitting the go ahead home run against Seattle at Yankee Stadium.
Both Rizzo and Gallo are great additions to this team. We’ve got ourselves some Italian Hitmen. We also get this
The addition of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo moves the Yankees closer to winning a Wild Card spot. This lineup is starting to come out of its funk. The come from behind win against Baltimore was a sign of life. Yes, it’s Baltimore but until this past week, that’s a game you expect them to lose as soon as they fall behind. There’s life to this lineup. There is a growing confidence in this lineup. This lineup is getting closer to getting it’s swag back
With the lineup rebounding, pitching now comes into focus. Starting pitching has been fairly solid. Especially looking at you Jameson Taillon.
Cole and Monty coming down with Covid is another tough break in a season full of tough breaks. Hopefully both cases are mild, we’ll need Cole down the stretch. Assuming Cole has a mild case, then I can’t even say the time off would be a bad thing. Why not give the arm some rest?
Corey Kluber and Luis Severino are both getting closer to their returns. If these guys can stay healthy, those are two fresh arms down the stretch. A rotation of Cole, Kluber, Taillon, Severino, and Monty/German is a strong rotation for a stretch run.
We have a growing confidence that the Yankees can win a wild card spot. If that happens, then we start asking ourselves the big question. Can the Yankees make a playoff run?
As this team starts to come together, we have to think a playoff run is a real possibility. A strong line up with left handed hitting. A solid defense. Fresh arms in the starting rotation. A solid bullpen. Speed off the bench. The Yankees have transformed into a rounded team.
American League teams likely making the playoffs are the White Sox, the Rays, the Red Sox, and the Astros.
The Yankees beat the White Sox earlier in the season. The Yankees should be 6-0 against Houston. Both of those teams are beatable.
The Red Sox have had our number but that team really isn’t as good as Red Sox fans think they are. Boston is beatable. Boston isn’t fundamentally strong. The Red Sox aren’t a good defensive team, among the worst of all potential playoff teams. The Red Sox big deadline deal was Kyle Schwarber. Yes Kyle Schwarber is a great hitter, but where is he going to play? If the Red Sox put him in left field, then Alex Verdugo moves to center. In the 100+ games Verdugo has played center field in his career, he seems to be pretty below average. Putting Schwarber at first base is a gamble, it’s a new position he hasn’t played. Use him at DH? Martinez has to play left field and Verdugo still ends up in center field. There is no situation where Kyle Schwarber improves this team’s defense.
The Red Sox do have Chris Sale coming back. Chris Sale returning to form is potentially a huge addition to the starting rotation. However Chris Sale is just as much a question mark as Severino and Kluber. Tampa is the real threat in the AL, not the Red Sox.
A month ago I did not think there was any chance I would be writing a column like this. I thought the Yankees were done, they weren’t even going to make the playoffs. Now I have hope that this team may have a run in them. I have to give credit where credit is due, Brian Cashman transformed this team at the trade deadline. The line up has a little more balance. There is actually some depth, if Giancarlo Stanton goes on the IL (let’s face it, he’s due) we have an almost healthy Luke Voit waiting in the wings to slide into that DH spot. The low key pick ups of guys like Greg Allen and Jonathan Davis adds speed and some defense. With the potential of the starting rotation and a strong bullpen, the Yankees really look like a team ready to make a run. There is a growing confidence in the Bronx right now which is giving us Yankees fans a growing sense of hope.