The New York Yankees are in the midst of their best stretch of baseball in twenty years. The run that they have been on is reminiscent of that of the 1998 team. The Yankees during their eighteen games without an off day went 16-2.
In a stretch like that it’s hard to find downward trends but let’s take a look at a few things that have gone right and some that haven’t gone quite as expected.
1 Up- Gleyber Torres
The Yankees have their second baseman of the future in Gleyber Torres. Torres was called up two weeks ago and the Yankees subsequentially started winning. Obviously, now I’m not saying that Gleyber won them every game but he has been a key contributor including winning the game tow help sweep the Indians series with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
1 Down- Clint Frazier
Yes, Clint is on the down list but not for the reason you may think. I am a big believer in Red Thunder and the kind of player that he can be for the Bronx Bombers. The reason he is on this list is that right now there is nowhere for Clint to play other than with the Scranton RailRiders. Clint has bee playing great baseball including helping the Railriders win a couple of ball games last week. The Yankees struggle to keep outfielders healthy throughout the first few weeks of the season but now seem to be going on all cylinders. So until another untimely injury arises it seems as if Frazier will be staying in Scranton.
2 Up- Dellin Betances
Dellin Betances has turned things around for himself this season, and the Yankees couldn’t be happier about it. Betances has had strong outings the last few times out. Yes, in Sunday’s finale with the Indians in his second inning of work Betances gave up runs but overall he has improved since the base running debacle in Toronto.
2 Down- Brett Gardner
Gardy has been mired in an offensive statistics slump all season long. However, Gardner has still been able to maintain his OBP and has worked counts which is something you look for in a leadoff batter. Gardner even in a slump has the enate ability to disrupt pitchers at the plate and on the basepaths. Gardner is in the final year of his contract with the Yankees and with so many young outfielders waiting in the wings (along with an outfielder in the Nation’s Capitol that is a free agent at season end), this may very well be Gardy’s last hurrah with the Yanks.
3 Up- Sonny Gray
Sonny Gray has pitched wonderfully his last two starts and even the start before both Gray and Yankee Manager Aaron Boone stated that they both saw improvement from Gray and there clearly was. Over Gray’s last two starts against Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians, both teams who have dynamic offenses, Gray pitched a combined 12 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 11 SO, and brought his ERA down from 7.71 three starts ago down to 6.00. Yes, it is still high but if Sonny continues to pitch as he has over his last two starts that ERA will drop quickly.
3 Down- Jordan Montgomery
Jordan Montgomery has quietly had a nice start to his Major League career, however, he is now down 6-8 weeks with a Flexor Strain in his pitching arm (left). The Yankees starting pitching depth was always considered a weakness and the injury to Monty will test that. However, the Yankees are hopeful that the injury to Montgomery will not require Tommy John Surgery and that they will be able to have Jordan back for the stretch run into the playoffs.
B.O.L.O- Domingo German
In the meantime, while the Yankees wait and see what happens with Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German has taken his spot in the rotation. After being thrust into the game in Houston out of necessity German pitched a great game against the defending World Champs. German followed that up by pitching six no-hit innings against the Indians on Sunday. Keep an eye out for Domingo’s next start to see if he can build upon these two incredible outings thus far.