It’s been a very disappointing year for the Yankees, as they’ve sat under .500 for the majority of the season, struggling to stay competitive in the AL East. Metro’s mid-season report card for the Bombers distributes the blame for this poor performance accordingly.
Starting Pitchers: C
Masahiro Tanaka (6-2, 3.12 ERA) has once again been terrific as the Yankees’ ace, while the “re-invented” CC Sabathia has been a pleasant surprise (5-6, 3.48 ERA). However, a disappointing Nathan Eovaldi (6-6, 5.42 ERA) has pitched his way out of the rotation, while Ivan Nova (6-5, 5.18 ERA) and newly-minted fifth starter Chad Green (1-2, 7.04 ERA) have been duds. Michael Pineda’s results have ranged from bad to awful; he carries a 5.38 ERA with his 3-8 record.
Relief Pitchers: B
The expectations for the Yankees’ bullpen were “A+” this season, but that hasn’t come to pass. Andrew Miller has been terrific but Dellin Betances has struggled as the third choice in the pen. Aroldis Chapman has underperformed as well, despite his 17/18 save record. His hit rate and home run rates are both up this year, while his strikeout numbers have dipped slightly. Middle relief has been hard to come by as well, which explains the Yankees being ranked 13th in bullpen ERA.
Didi Gregorious (.298) has been the lone bright spot in this department. Starlin Castro (.253) has tapered off after his hot start, Chase Headley (.256) has underachieved, and Mark Teixeira (.188, just seven home runs) has turned in the worst half-season of his career. Alex Rodriguez (.220, eight home runs) can’t even get in the lineup every day, as he’s struggled against righties and has been relegated to platoon duties.
Carlos Beltran’s impressive numbers (.297, 19 homers and 55 RBI) are the reason this grade isn’t lower, as Jacoby Ellsbury has disappointed again, while Brett Gardner has also turned in a down year. Aaron Hicks has made a couple of highlight reels but his .197 average is nothing to brag about.
The Yankees didn’t sign on for a .230 batting average when they inked Brian McCann to a 5-year, $85 million contract two years ago, but that’s what they’re getting. Also, his 13 homers are slightly off the 26-homer pace he set last season. Austin Romine has been a pleasant surprise, hitting .260 in limited chances as the backup backstop.
Joe Girardi’s had a difficult time managing an injury-depleted roster, but his lack of creativity hasn’t helped. His daily lineups frequently look like a snapshot of the ones from early April, where McCann and Teixeira could be counted on to deliver in the heart of the order with Gardner setting the table. None of those things have happened with regularity since May. Gregorius, despite batting .296* on the year, hasn’t hit higher than fifth in the order this year, and he’s batted higher than sixth only once.
General Manager: C-
This grade may not be entirely fair as just like his manager, Brian Cashman has had to try and assemble a decent team despite a plague of injuries this season. However, Cashman’s inability, or unwillingness, to improve his roster from outside the organization is very disappointing. Cashman seems content to let the Yankees become irrelevant late this season, and that’s a shame.