David Robertson has filled the massive shoes of Mariano Rivera well so far. Credit: Getty Images
The first half of the season rarely went as planned for the Yankees, right down to a massively disappointing injury diagnosis to Masahiro Tanaka in the final week.
But the team was over .500 heading into a late-night Sunday finale with Baltimore and still in position to contend for the wild card.
It’s an amazing situation considering just how many players have struggled or been injured.
Metro breaks down the grades for the team’s first half.
Brian McCann, catcher
The Yankees were counting on McCann to be a much bigger offensive force than he’s been. His .238 batting average and .393 on-base percentage are the worst of his career, but he’s only slightly behind his usual home run pace. Still, the Yankees need more.
Mark Teixeira, first base
Teixeira has shown more power than he has since 2011, which also happened to be the last year he was healthy. For the most part, Teixeira’s wrist has held up, which was a serious concern. His sub-.250 average is just a given at this point.
Brian Roberts, second base
Perhaps most shockingly, Roberts has played in 81 games. But if you expected him to replace the production of Robinson Cano, you were crazy. The Yankees are probably happy to settle for a 1.5 WAR at this point in his career.
Derek Jeter, shortstop
The now 40-year-old Jeter is turning it on late in the first half of his final season. He has raised his batting average to .271 by hitting .301 since dropping to a season-low of .254 on June 8. Thankfully, he has also been totally healthy after a miserable 2013.
Yangervis Solarte, third base
He's not Alex Rodriguez is the most positive thing to say about Solarte after he fell back to Earth in the last month or so. The 27-year-old rookie is batting .257 with six homers. But he's also not on the back pages everyday.
Brett Gardner, left field
Gardner’s average and OBP are on par with last season, but he’s been striking out more than ever. He has been striking out once every 4.63 plate appearances after once in 4.79 in 2013 and 6.32 in 2011. (He missed most of 2012, remember.) He also has just 15 steals.
Jacoby Ellsbury, centerfield
Ellsbury’s first season as a Yankee has been unremarkable, though not a total disappointment. He’s a good defensive centerfielder and 40 RBIs and 40 runs is not bad. It’s just not worth $153 million.
Carlos Beltran, right field
While Ellsbury has been mediocre, Beltran has been a complete disaster in his first season of a three-year deal. He is batting just .216 with a -0.7 WAR dealing with a chronic elbow injury and now a freak broken nose has derailed him again.
Masahiro Tanaka, starter
Unfortunately, these grades did not come a couple weeks ago. Tanaka has hit the DL for six to eight weeks with a torn elbow ligament after a brilliant (12-4, 2.51 ERA) start. Now, who knows?
Hiroki Kuroda, starter
The question going into 2014 was if Kuroda was done after going 3-7 with a 4.25 ERA in the second half of 2013. He’s been about the same in 2014: 6-6, 4.10 ERA. You can’t expect more from a pitcher with 18 pro seasons on his arm.
CC Sabathia, starter
It may not be the worst thing for the rest of Sabathia’s career to miss the rest of 2014. But it’s left the current team in a major lurch. A final decision will be made in a couple weeks. But he had a 5.28 ERA before the injury.
David Robertson, closer
Robertson has blown just two saves in 25 chances in his first season taking over for Mariano Rivera. His 59 strikeouts and 2.76 ERA in 32 2/3 innings is more than adequate.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter@MetroNYSports.