How sustainable is the hot start for the New York Yankees with a struggling lineup?
The New York Yankees find themselves in a familiar position: atop the American League. In spite of what many considered a disappointing offseason where they didn’t exactly overhaul a flawed roster, they’re wrapping up April looking like the team to beat in not only the American League East but also the entire league itself.
How they’ve done it is even more remarkable. The Yankees aren’t swatting home runs like it’s 1927. Few of their major players are even off to average starts. The Yankees are winning games with a lineup many armchair general managers would love to completely tweak. About half of the lineup is limping through all nine innings on a regular basis and yet the Yankees find themselves winning.
Can the magic for the Yankees continue?
The Yankees are off to a fast start and this success is sustainable
Just because the Yankees are winning games minus elite performances doesn’t mean there is any trickery involved. A team can go undefeated and win all 162 games on the schedule just as long as they have one more run at the end of the game. Beating your opponent into a pulp is nice. Squeaking by with wins, as frustrating as it can be at times, leads to more success.
Although the hitters haven’t heated up yet, the early success should only make Yankees fans more confident in this club. Imagine how good they can be if Joey Gallo ever does start beating the shift or at least stops striking out so much. If Josh Donaldson turns out the heat, the Yankees might have one powerful team.
New York has gotten some terrific pitching performances this season with Nestor Cortes appearing as if he plans to win the American League Cy Young. Through four starts, he’s 1-0 with a 1.31 ERA.
The bullpen has been good, too. Michael King has been a godsend for them. The same has been true for Clarke Schmidt. This pair of once promising young starters have managed to slot into the bullpen as multi-inning threats. The bullpen situation may be imperfect but some big innings from some of those arms has made up for the weaknesses at the plate.
When it comes to sustainability, the Yankees definitely seem to have the weapons to continue winning even if Giancarlo Stanton has an off-year or they got zero offense from the catchers. If half of the lineup is dead all season-long, it may lead to some rough streaks. However, if the pitching continues to thrive and even two guys come up with big hits a night, the team from the Bronx could find themselves back where the fans feel they belong: the World Series.
The big challenge for them will be beating more than the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Kansas City Royals. By then, maybe they’ll have a complete lineup.