Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Losses Raise Questions
The Yankees have been unable to hold onto a lead in their past three games and as of the time of this posting, are trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3.
Their sudden collapse in the late innings are mostly the result of an overworked and weak bullpen. Torre has been pulling the starting pitcher out early in the game giving the relief pitchers unnecessary innings to work through.
A quality starting pitcher should be able to last until the seventh inning and replaced by a fresh arm well recovered from their previous outing. Torre and pitching coach Ron Guidry need to get together to discuss this matter seeing as the relief pitchers are still recovering from their last outing and only hurt the team more than help.
However, it is not only the relief pitchers that are raising eyebrows, its the hitting, or lack of it.
Yankees have one of the best line ups in baseball, but play like rookies. As of late, mind you.
Alex Rodriguez was named Player of the Year for May, only to go into an instant slump in June. Derek Jeter's batting average slipped 20 points and injuries were still on the rise. Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield both underwent wrist surgery and should return by September. Bubba Crosby recently made a return back to the Yankees after a trip on the DL.
The Yankees too are getting older as a team, Jeter turned 32 and Posada, Sheffield, Williams and Johnson are headed towards their final years. The only young guns on the team are Crosby, Robinson Cano, and Chein-Ming Wang.
The Yankees have a bad reputation of trading their star rookies away for older veteran players that have one last season left in them.
Yankees need to invest in younger players and trainers for their minor league affiliates to improve their playing skills and prepare them for the majors.
That is IF George Steinbrenner wants to spend a little cash on the youngsters, instead of trying to win a championship every year.
He will run out of money sometime, and that day could be near.
Posted by Steve Kenul at 7:27 PM