Just how early is it for the Yankees?

Angry Joe is angry - Stephen Dunn

Spare me the gloom.

Derek Jeter is old, until he hits a single and a double, providing the team's only offense and raising his batting average ten points.

The 2B/3B platoon is barely hitting, but the dynasty teams featured a third baseman who hit .247/.307/.414 and a second baseman who couldn't make the throw to first.

The rotation is a mess. I actually don't have a pithy reply for this- the rotation is a mess, and if at least one of CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda can't look like themselves soon and for the rest of the season, the road to the playoffs becomes exponentially more difficult.

But this is the important thing-

Today, the Orioles lead the AL East with a .516 winning percentage, which wouldn't be second place in any other division. The Blue Jays, in last, are only three losses off the pace.

May 6 Leader Win% Regular Season Leader Win%
2014 Orioles .517
2013 Red Sox .645 Red Sox .599
2012 Rays .679 Yankees .586
2011 Yankees .586 Yankees .599
2010 Rays .741 Rays .593


Maybe the 2014 standings will end just like this, with all five teams in the AL East grinding each other into the ground.

Yesterday, Jim wrote about the grim picture painted by the Yankees' run differential. I'd like to offer an alternative narrative.

With two under-30 starters on the DL, and two over-30 starters showing the wear of years, the Yankees have stayed afloat, and thankfully the AL East looks equally flawed. Only Toronto sports a positive run differential (+3), and only Toronto has shown an above average offense so far this season.

In the lineup, only Jacoby Ellsbury, Ichiro Suzuki, Mark Teixeira, Kelly Johnson and Yangervis Solarte are outperforming their projected offensive output; in that group, only Ichiro is wildly outperforming. Meanwhile, for all our worries (and despite some obvious deficiencies) overall, the Yankees have played their defense just a touch below average. Ellsbury and Beltran have been the big negative contributors, and no one has shown the catastrophic defense many predicted.

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