Monday, August 3, 2015

Yankees weekend news wrap: Road trip, standing pat, two months to go

The New York Yankees remained in control of the American League East after going 6-4 on their road trip. The Yankees virtually stood pat at the deadline (minus one minor move) and the club has two months to, to the day, to maintain their position in the standings and reach the postseason for the first time since 2012.

Great trip

I wrote at the beginning of the 10-game road trip that if the Yankees could figure out a way to hit on the road as well as they have at home, while all else being equal, they would be tough to beat after the trade deadline. The Yankees did just that, pounding out 21 runs in one game at Texas and 13 and 12 runs in two of their games against the White Sox. The Yanks averaged 4.6 runs in the other seven games which should be plenty of offense if the pitching is doing their job.

What was even better is this stat:

That’s impressive considering the top five or six guys in the lineup have carried the club's offense through much of the season. If the trend remains (obviously not at the level of the road trip, but basically average to above-average offensive production) the Yankees will be hard to catch.

Was standing pat right or wrong?

I have no problem that the team decided to mostly stand pat, but that comes with the caveat that they must continue to infuse youth into areas when and where necessary. They've had no problem doing this with a massive rotational movement in the bullpen. They are continuing to trust their minor leaguers by bringing up Luis Severino to replace Michael Pineda in the rotation.

The question is if CC Sabathia continues to waste outings and Stephen Drew’s recent resurgence is a temporary thing, will they make changes with how the two veterans are used? An injury, like Pineda's presses the issue, but abandoning veterans for youth because of performance takes extreme confidence.

Two months to go

The Yankees are well positioned at the moment, but they have 13 games left against the Toronto Blue Jays, who got a whole lot better last week. The Bombers also have six games remaining against the Baltimore Orioles. Each club is six games back of the Yankees before play Monday.

In my opinion, if the Yankees continue to win series from this point on, they’ll coast to the division title. I just don’t see either of the other two teams going on extreme winning streaks AND the Yankees consequently going on extended losing streaks. It seems like the Yankees inconsistent play has finally subsided and at the perfect time. They’ll have to continue to play in this same fashion without letting down if they want to win the AL East.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.