Tanaka Takes the Ball As Yanks Eye Sweep of Astros
Since the all-star break, the Yankees boast an 8-4 record with series wins over serious World Series contenders (Orioles, Giants, Astros). Essentially, they have left their front office between a rock and a hard place in terms of whether to buy or sell. With the expected move of Chapman for prospect Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren, and two other prospects on Monday, the question is now to move Beltran, Pineda, Nova, and potentially Miller.
Last night, the Yankees emerged victorious 6-3 behind CC Sabathia's quality 6 and two thirds innings pitched.
Aaron Hicks' two-run triple in the 5th put New York out in front 6-1, which wound up being the biggest blow for Houston. Tonight, it's Tanaka (7-2, 3.00ERA) versus Lance McCullers (5-4, 3.33ERA). In his last two starts, Tanaka has given up just 1 earned run over 12 innings against the Giants and Red Sox lineup's. No reason why he can't have another stellar start tonight as he's tasked with the facing the potent Houston lineup. The key to success for Tanaka hinges on that splitter of his, when he's locating it down in the zone, he's effective and he gets outs. When that splitter is left up, it hasn't been so fun for him this year. With an ERA at 3.00 flat, you bet he'll be looking to log another low-scoring game and get that number to start with a two.
The Yankees have been playing good fundamental baseball lately getting timely hits, good defense, great pitching, and an absolutely lockdown bullpen (without Chapman). However, it's hard for me to believe that for the remaining 62 games they can keep up the pace they're at. They'd have to go 35-27 to match last season's win count, which was 87. Plus the way things are shaping out in the AL East, they are chasing everyone ahead of them in their division. The Orioles, Blue Jays, and Red Sox are all on pace for over 90 wins. So let's say 90 is the number the Yanks need to reach to make it, that means they must go 38-24 over the stretch run. This team has not accomplished a run like that since 2012. As much as it pains me, and other Yankee fans to say it, we won't make the playoffs this year.
If I had Brian Cashman's shoes on, I would be getting rid of Beltran, keeping Miller, and dishing either Nova or Pineda. None of these moves would impact ticket sales or anything like that, as we may even get to see the highly touted Aaron Judge sometime this summer if Beltran is shipped. The point being is that the future is almost set, and now we're buying low and selling high where we can. There are a ton of guys eager to get the opportunity to play more often, and making the aforementioned moves will give them their time to shine. I firmly believe that we will contend for a World Series in 2018, perhaps even next year if our young guys are on the fast track. Bite the bullet and sell now, then open your wallet up to build around the young core that you already possess.
But for now, I'll take a sweep.