Suffering a sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox seems like it was eons ago. Over the past three days, the New York Yankees have continued to pound on teams that aren't named "Boston", outscoring the Indians by a margin of 21-8. Now that the Yankees have split the first six games of their ten game home stand, there are many questions that face the Bombers.
1) Has the real Jorge Posada stood up? Posada is 13 for his last 22 (.591) with one walk and three runs batted in. He's piecing together better at bats and must be feeling the intense pressure to perform. While New York fans have continued to cheer him for everything good he does and turn a blind eye to anything unacceptable, I'm sure management was seriously considering alternative options for Posada. However, he's brought his batting average from a hideous .169 up to .226 over his last six games and doesn't show signs of stopping. Is this rejuvenated Posada sticking around? Or is this a mirage?
2) Where is the bullpen? Pedro Feliciano, Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain are all stored away on the DL right now. While Feliciano and Chamberlain are lost causes for this year, Soriano is going to need to come back sooner rather than later to help shore up a bullpen that's licking its wounds. David Robertson is now the eighth inning man, but he works himself into trouble far too often for my liking. A combination of Kevin Whelan, Boone Logan and Luis Ayala will be used to get through the seventh inning. Hector Noesi and Jeff Marquez are the logical options are emergency long men incase a Garcia-esque start is the case, and Lance Pendleton awaits in purgatory in the event of a blowout game. This bullpen is far from reassuring, but will they hold out? Who can the Yankees possibly trade for that won't get injured and will be effective out of the bullpen?
3) Starters are dwindling. With Bartolo Colon tweaking his hamstring, he lands on the DL amidst his extraordinary comeback year. Colon says he'll be back in fifteen days to pitch, but will he be as effective? Phil Hughes is currently rehabing down in Tampa and should be back after the All Star break. For now, the Yankees have CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova and Hector Noesi (or Warren). How confident are you that this rotation will, potentially, hold out for half a month to a month?
Overall, with injuries accounted for, I'm fairly happy with the fact that the Yankees are in second place. They're sitting at 36-27 (pythagorean W/L is 39-24) in the toughest division in baseball. They're 35-19 against every team other than Boston, and there is no team (other than Boston) in the American League that is flat out more talented than the Yankees. By no means is it time to panic, but how long will the rotation and bullpen hold together without some key components?