Figuring Out The Yankees Early Season Struggles

May 16, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; New York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (18) reacts after surrendering a hit against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Yankees 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

As many of you have discussed here, this season the Yankees look a bit off. At 20-17, the Yankees are in third place in the AL East, only three games ahead of the Red Sox, who are in last place in the AL East.

Despite all of the panic going around, whether it be about the rotation, Mark Teixeira's lack of hitting, Alex Rodriguez' lack of power, or the injuries, I'm still confident about the future of this team offensively.

Let's first talk about the hitting. The Yankees are among the top ten teams in the MLB this season in batting average, runs, hits, home runs (obviously) RBI, OBP (!) and SLG.

The lineup may not look intimidating every night, but the Yankees work the count, get on base, and while they may mainly rely on home runs, they still get the job done. The offense will get a spark when (if) Mark Teixeira gets into his groove and gets healthy, and when (if) Russell Martin returns to his average self and Brett Gardner returns.

Meanwhile, the Yankees rotation is a problem right now. The Yankees are only in the top ten in walks allowed and strikeouts thrown, but the rotation simply is not doing their job right now. Hiroki Kuroda is wildly inconsistent, Ivan Nova regressed after a solid start to the season, and Andy Pettitte is a mystery right now.

The positives of the rotation are that CC Sabathia is, well, CC Sabathia, and Phil Hughes looks like he is improving. If Hughes can be an acceptable #4 or #5 starter, Andy Pettitte can pitch at least close to the Andy Pettitte of old, and Hiroki Kuroda can pitch like he did for the Dodgers, the Yankees rotation will be fine.

Still, that's a lot of ifs.

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