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'Kudos & Wet Willies,' Best And Worst New York Yankees In May

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Now that the calendar has turned to June it is time to look back at what May brought to our beloved New York Yankees. As always, there was some good and some bad. The best way I know of to summarize the month that was is, of course, with a 'Kudos & Wet Willies' post.

'Jscape' looked at the won-loss record for May earlier. This post will focus strictly on the players. So, here goes.

Kudos to ...
  • Robinson Cano: Let me just say it and get it over with. It sure looks like, at this point in his career, Cano might just be the best player the Yankees have. Incredible hitting. Unbelievable defense. He is playing the best baseball of his life right now, and it sure is fun to watch. May saw Cano hit .336 with three home runs and 22 RBI.

    Sorry, Boston fans, but I don't even think you can argue the statement that Cano is the best second baseman in the American League right now. He could very well be the leading candidate for MVP at the moment, too.
  • Francisco Cervelli:Our hero hit .306 in May with 17 RBI. This 'kudos,' though is really about Frankie's iron-man abilities. With Jorge Posada on the disabled list most of the month, Cervelli caught 24 of 29 games in May.
  • Andy Pettitte: The Yankees may never allow Pettitte to retire. He was 3-1, 3.33 ERA in May and is now 7-1 on the season. He just keeps going, and going, and going. And, somehow, he seems to age like fine wine -- incredibly well.
  • Phil Hughes: The impressive young right-hander went 4-1 in six May starts. At 6-1, 2.70 ERA overall you have to start wondering if Hughes might be heading to the All-Star Game.
  • Nick Swisher: Swish hit .374 with seven home runs and 17 RBI. Oh, and he got engaged to the lovely Joanna Gardia. Not a bad month at all for the Yankee right fielder.
  • Alex Rodriguez: Hit .333 with five home runs and 27 RBI in May. The two grand slams he hit this month following intentional walks to Mark Teixeira should put an end to that strategy.
Wet Willies to ...
  • Joba Chamberlain: Oh, Joba, what has happened to you? The Joba we saw in May, particularly his last few outings in May, is not the same guy we once knew. In 11 May appearances Joba had a 7.94 ERA and a ridiculously high 1.59 WHIP. If the Yankees can't rely on Joba to be the final block in the bridge to Mariano Rivera, they don't have a bridge at all. And that would be a huge problem. Joba has a 5.82 ERA on the season, and has had way too many implosions to engender confidence when he jogs in from the bullpen.
  • CC Sabathia: A 1-2 record with a 5.15 ERA in six May starts. The Yankees have to have more than that from CC to make it deep into October. In the end, I'm confident they will get it. But, a 'Wet Willie' for May.
  • Nick Johnson: Mostly because he has landed on the disabled list. Again. And will be lost for an extended period of the season. Again. He was hitting only .167 when he went down. When he comes back -- if he ever comes back -- Juan Miranda and Marcus Thames may have a stranglehold on what used to be Johnson's job.
  • David Robertson: Yes, before suffering a back straight D-Rob was showing signs of turning his season around. But, he still had a 5.73 ERA and a staggeringly bad 1.91 WHIP in 11 May games. He has to be better, especially if Joba is going to be so inconsistent.

Surprisingly, I have left Javier Vazquez and Mark Teixeira off the 'Wet Willies' lists. Their May numbers (Vazquez, 2-2, 4.91)) and Tex (.280, six home runs, 25 RBI) are better than I thought. On the flip side, A.J. Burnett's May numbers (3-2, 4.03) were not quite as good as I anticipated.