The New York Yankees have had an incredible season with an overall record of 54-27 prior to Monday’s game. Sunday night’s blowout victory over the Boston Red Sox tied the two teams back up for the division. Heading into Monday night’s action the two teams are tied with the Yankees ahead by percentage points in the AL East division. We will examine some of the players who are helping and hurting the division chase. Take a look back at some previous installments of this countdown.
1 Up- Luis Severino
The unquestioned ace of the New York Yankees Luis Severino finished third in the Cy Young voting in 2017. However, he is the leading candidate for that award thus far in 2018. Sevvy over his last 7 games has gone 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 47.1 innings. The dominance shown by Severino in 2017 has jumped to a new level in 2018. And if he continues down this current trajectory, he will undoubtedly win the AL Cy Young award this season.
1 Down- Sonny Gray
For as tremendous as Severino has been, Sonny Gray has been a disappointment this season. When Sonny Gray was acquired at last season’s trade deadline, the Yankees believed they had a number 2 starter behind Sevvy. However, what they have gotten is a wealth of inconsistent pitching. Over his last 7 starts gray has an ERA of 5.40 serving up 39 hits and 11 walks over 36.2 innings. Gray’s 2018 season numbers don’t fare any better as he has a 5.44 ERA and a 5-6 record in 82.2 innings pitched this season. If Gray has any hope of pitching in the postseason for the Yankees he needs to turn it around.
2 Up- Giancarlo Stanton
All season long we have been waiting for the 2017 NL MVP to show up. And as was stated on multiple occasions when the weather heats up so does Stanton. As a baseball fan first I watched many Miami Marlins games for Giancarlo and the late Jose Fernandez. So I was not surprised to see Stanton get off to a somewhat cold start. As it was his usual Modus Operandi. Now that Stanton is heating up, again having watched him in Miami, I know that he hasn’t even gotten that real hot streak yet. So with 19 home runs already in the books look out American League. Or as Yankees radio broadcaster would say “Giancarlo, non si può stoparlo.”
2 Down- Austin Romine
In a quick turn of events, Austin Romine found himself being taken out of a game for hamstring tightness. Thankfully, for the Yankees and Romine himself, it did not seem like a major problem. And just a few days off should do the trick. However, what is concerning is after a brief moment where Romine could do no wrong at the plate. He finds himself struggling as the everyday starter. Over his last 7 games, Romine has a slash line of .095/.136/.190. That’s just 2 hits in 21 at-bats to go along with 5 strikeouts. Romine is getting his shot with Gary Sanchez on the DL, but he has yet to make the most of it.
3 Up- Aaron Hicks
With a night to remember Aaron Hicks on Sunday’s massive 11-1 blowout of the Red Sox had a career night. Hicks hit 3 home runs driving in 4. But looking further back over his last 7 games Aaron has 4 home runs and is slashing .308/.367/.769. Even if we look back further over his last 30 games, Hicks has 9 home runs and 19 rbi’s. While Hicks had the starting centerfield job out of Spring Training, no one was quite sure what a healthy Aaron Hicks could be capable of. Now as July gets going, we have seen some good baseball out of Hicksy.
3 Down- Neil Walker
Well, the day of reckoning is approaching. At this time last season Chris Carter‘s time with the Yankees finally ended. And it appears the writing may also be on the wall for Neil Walker. When Walker was signing this past offseason, it was seen as a good move picking up the veteran middle infielder. His signing would allow the young guys in Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andújar time to develop. Well here we are in July and Walker is hitting under the Mendoza line for the season. And the young “Baby Bombers” are proving they are more than ready for the Major Leagues. Carter played his last game on July 4th, and it is quite possible that the Yankees can continue on “Independent” from Neil Walker.
B.O.L.O.- Brandon Drury
The man who would make it possible for the Yankees to liberate themselves from Walker is Brandon Drury. Drury was recalled before the weekend series against Boston. And manager Aaron Boone said that Drury is here to stay. Drury will take hold of the mantle that Walker once held as the utility infielder capable of playing third, second and now first base. Drury was lighting up Triple-A and warranted a call back up to the Majors. And with his tenure looking to be long-term (unlike Clint Frazier‘s call-up, unfortunately, although he has a future) watch for Drury’s bat to impact this team positively.