Today is Friday, May 10th and the New York Yankees currently occupy first place in the AL East. This is huge for so many reasons.
For starters, the Yankees aren't even suppose to be near first place, let alone in it. Unless I'm mistaking, the Toronto Blue Jays were picked on paper to run away with the AL East crown. I know I certainly picked Toronto to win at least 95 game. Now I would be surprised if the Jays even won 80 games.
Never would I have thought that with all the talent that Toronto acquired over the offseason they would be in such a shape as they are now. It's not like injuries are killing them, Jose Reyes is the only major star injured.
Going back to my season predictions, I had the Yankees finishing 4th in the east. Mostly in part because of the superstars on the disabled list when those picks were made. Now it seems as if the Yankees shouldn't even be a team in the AL East after the many more injuries they've suffered in-season.
When spring training started, Alex Rodriguez was the only Yankee that was expected to miss a large part of time beacause is hip surgery he had in January. But by April 1st, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira wouldn't be listed on the Opening Day lineup.
Ben Francisco was batting 6th in the Opening Day lineup and Lyle Overbay was starting at 1st base. Overbay had made the team just days before the opener. Vernon Wells also wasn't on the team with a week to spare and he's been one of the teams best hitters since coming over from Los Angeles.
The Yankees weren't given much of a chance to win before spring rolled around, mostly because of their aging roster and a lack of offseason spending that was suppose to hold them back from competing with the teams that did spend, such as the Red Sox and Blue Jays.
So imagine how many people killed them off once Granderson, Teixeira, and Jeter suffered injuries once the spring started. I know for sure that I had little hope. My expectation for where the Yankees would stand on May 10th, was 3rd place at best.
As the season continued the Yankees were able to tread water. But over the recent weeks the injury total has grown. With players like Joba Chamberlin, Ivan Nova, Kevin Youkilis, and Francisco Cervelli all suffering injuries of their own. The bleeding just doesn't seem to stop, yet the Yankees keep winning.
The Yankees have done more then just tread water, they're winning games and winning series'. With Granderson close to returning and Teixeira not far behind, the already imposing Yankee lineup can only get better from what they already are. Even if what they already are, is a 1st place club battling against the proving Red Sox in the AL East.