Despite losing the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday, May 14 -- Mother's Day and Derek Jeter day -- the New York Yankees are no joke this year. They are currently 22-13 following their loss the Houston Astros.
Aaron Hicks had a chance to tie the game with two men on base and two outs. He chipped the ball straight to Ken Giles, the closer for the Astros, who caught the ball and threw it to first for the final out of the game.
It was an unfortunate ending for the Yankees on the day Jeter's number was retired, but they can be optimistic for the future games because of the core they have built.
Three notable Yankees are batting over .300 this season. That list consists of Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Starlin Castro. It's still a young season, of course, so we can't expect lights out hitting from these guys all season. However, they are giving Major League Baseball a glimpse of what the Yankees are creating in the Bronx.
The Yankees are now part of a winning culture again. With young, up-and-coming talent like Judge and Didi Gregorious, the Yankees have a solid batting core to focus on for years to come. The veteran presence of Matt Holliday, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brett Gardner, too, has offered the team some much-needed hitting of later, helping the Yankees reach the 22-win threshold they're at now.
Quality hitting and excellent fielding from these players will more than likely pique the interests of impending free agents for seasons to come. Likewise, the market in New York is very attractive for players looking for big payouts.
There are still some flaws in the Yankees' lineup, though, that should definitely be addressed.
Slight adjustments to be made
Nobody's perfect, of course, but when it comes to Greg Bird, something must be done. Granted, he was brought up through the Yankees' farm system, so he shouldn't be expected to play extraordinarily. However, his .100 batting average does not bode well at this point in the season. Bird is currently on the disable list, leaving Chris Carter as the only remaining first baseman. Carter boasts a .200 average with one home run to his name, not the most appealing numbers. The issue at first base will likely be assessed by the Yankees' front office in due time, but for now, the team will have to settle for inadequate play up the first base line.
The pitching rotation for the Yankees hasn't been too disappointing, but there is still room for improvement. Masahiro Tanaka carries a 4.36 ERA through 43.1 innings pitched and five wins. He's one of the main bright spots on the mound regardless of his ERA. Guys like Luis Severino and Micheal Pineda have been pitching pretty well themselves, but it wouldn't hurt to try and get their ERAs even lower. The main concern between the latter two is their win-loss ratios, but again, the season is young.
Altogether, this roster looks crisp. They have the talent to finish the regular season strong, but of course, it all depends on health and how manager Joe Girardi handles his rotations each game. Nonetheless, we are looking at a rejuvinated roster in the Bronx with a lot to look forward to in the remainder of the season.