Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rotation Not Exactly Pulling Its Weight Right Now

(Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Just a day and change away from the trade deadline, adding a bat is still the Yankees' top priority.  Adding multiple bats would be an even better priority.  The Yankee lineup is still terribly weak after the Alfonso Soriano trade, not nearly good enough to be competitive night in and night out.  With time running out for the internal help to come back and make a real impact, and a bench full of MiL spare parts, the Yankees need to be aggressive in pursuing options to seriously improve their offense.  As unrealistic as it seems given the way they've played the last 2 months, a 2.5 game Wild Card deficit is not insurmountable.  With little developing on the market for Hughes and Joba, the Steinbrenners have no choice but to buy just to keep up appearances that they're trying to contend.

If the Yankees are going to have any chance of fighting for a Wild Card spot, they need a better offense.  No question about that.  But they could also use a turnaround from the starting rotation.  Over the last 4 weeks, it has slowly devolved into the lineup's co-weakness and become just as big a hindrance to winning games as the lineup's inability to score runs.

Middle Of The Order Has Been (Somewhat) Silent Killer This Season

(Courtesy of the AP)

The "the offense sucks" narrative is no longer the big news it was when the turn started in late May.  It's no surprise anymore that the Yankees can't score runs, don't hit for power, and generally boast some of the weakest 7-9 spots in the batting order in all of baseball, NL included.  But if you're looking for a better explanation as to why they've failed to score a run or 2 when they really need it time and time again this year, look no further than the former heart of the order.

Does Travis Hafner's DL Trip Matter?

(Courtesy of the AP)

It got swept under the rug by the related story of Derek Jeter returning, but Travis Hafner hit the DL on Sunday with a right rotator cuff strain.  He had problems with the same shoulder earlier in the year, and it finally got bad enough where the decision was made to DL him, removing a powerful lefty bat from the lineup.  Well, in theory that's what it did.  In actuality, it cleared some dead weight from the middle of the lineup and actually gave Joe a chance to insert a potentially more productive bat.

Bud Out For Blood With A-Rod

The Alex Rodriguez/Biogenesis case gets more cutthroat by the minute.  The latest news, via The NY Daily News, is Bud Selig's reported plan to invoke the rarely-used "power of the commissioner" to ban A-Rod based on the always fun grounds of the game's integrity.  Coming on the heels of last night's report that MLB was now seeking to punish and suspend A-Rod for violating the terms of the CBA and not the drug rules to block his appeal, it's pretty obvious that this whole case has turned into Bud's personal witch hunt against A-Rod.

Whether you believe Rodriguez is deserving of this type of persecution and punishment, and your reasons for those believes, is your opinion and that's fine.  I certainly am not going to sit here and try to defend the guy for repeatedly cheating, repeatedly lying about it, and being dumb enough to get caught multiple times.  But the lengths MLB has gone and is still going to to get A-Rod out of the game, and the swerves they're pulling to avoid the standard procedures for these types of cases that they created are completely ridiculous and based in nothing more than Bud's desire to make a real impact on steroids before his term is up.  After willingly turning his eye to it like everybody else, he's out to make A-Rod his white whale and he's stacking the deck to make sure he nails him.

We'll see where the story goes today, but it doesn't look like it's going anywhere good for Alex.  More and more it looks like the book is being closed on his playing career, one way or the other.