Confidence Rating: 76
After a hot offensive start, several hitters have tanked in the past week -
Jorge Posada: 0-15, 8 K, .000 OPS
Nick Swisher: 3-18, 0 XBH, .367 OPS
Mark Teixeira: 1-19, 1 HR, .392 OPS
Curtis Granderson: 2-16, 2 XBH, .597 OPS
Derek Jeter: 5-20, 1 2B, .648 OPS (one XBH on the year)
It's only been four games, but Jesus Montero is killing the ball: .450/.450/.650 (be nice to see him take a walk). He's also been better than expected behind the plate (1 of 3 caught stealing, picked a runner off first). If Posada continues to struggle, Montero won't be far behind as the DH/BUC.
By the way, Jesus' height/weight have been updated from 6'4", 225 to 6'3", 235. So they're saying he got shorter and fatter.
What to do about Phil Hughes?
All the starters have pitched fairly well except for him. He's trying to "get more aggressive" with his mechanics, specifically the lower half of his body, and continues to build arm strength (he had a 200-foot catch on Sunday).
His four-seam fastball velocity averaged 92.6 MPH last year. This year it's been 89.3. That's a big drop off. It wouldn't be a real problem if he could locate better, but he's consistently missing his spots. He's walked 6/9 and K'ed 1.5/9 through two starts. That's just awful.
Thank goodness for CC -
The ace has almost single-handedly carried the pitching staff: 1.45 ERA, 8.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0 HR allowed. He allowed a lot of baserunners Sunday night, but got outs when he needed to. He's really going to have the front office over a barrel with his impending opt-out clause.
Up Next -
The Yankees come home to play three against the first place Orioles. (In fairness, they're only in first by a game.) The O's have thus far been carried by their pitchers, who have a combined 3.33 ERA (133 ERA+), compared to the Yankees' 4.84 ERA and 92 ERA+. The offense hasn't been great, despite the acquisitions of Vlad Guerrero and Derrek Lee, posting a combined .630 OPS (compared to the Yankees' .783).
But most importantly, in light of recent news, tell us whether aliens have visited Earth.