May is over and likely not a moment too soon for the Yankees. After a promising first month of baseball in which they surprised by going 13-9, the Yanks followed with another 13-win month. The only problem was that May featured seven more games than April, so they ended it with a disappointing 13-17 record to drop to just one game over .500 at 26-25. On the bright side, that's still good enough for a share of the AL East lead with the Rays:
Bravo, dudes. May you plummet to the levels of the 1994 AL West. It's what Bud Selig would have wanted.
The team began the month on a roll, as they were in the middle of that stretch when won six of seven series, including five in a row. The Yankees took two out of three in Boston from the Red Sox to start the month, then dropped a three-game set to the Blue Jays before recovering to capture three of four from the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. A decisive 11-5 victory over the Rays the next day moved them to a season best nine games over .500 at 21-12, tops in the American League.
Since then, the Yankees have done a complete 180 and are 5-13 from May12th onward, the worst mark in the AL. The lowlights included a six-game losing streak at the hands of the Royals, Nationals, and the then-last place Rangers, with the latter sweeping the Yanks at home for the first time since 2003. Somewhat amusingly, the Yankees bounced back to sweep the red-hot Royals before losing a series to another underwhelming team, the Oakland Athletics.
They ended the month with far more questions than answers. Stephen Drew's triple slash has dropped to Mets pitcher levels, and neither the bench bat of Jose Pirela or the defensively deficient Robert Refsnyder seem like they'd offer such a substantial improvement that it would make a difference. (Drew should still be benched, but boy those alternatives are underwhelming.) Spark plug Jacoby Ellsbury suffered a knee sprain in D.C. and was forced to the disabled list for at least a month and has been replaced in the meantime by the badly slumping Chris Young, the exciting-but-already-injured-himself-because-duh Slade Heathcott, and the tweener prospect Ramon Flores. They... are not quite the same.
Carlos Beltran did have a 15-game hitting streak resurgence and most of the regular bats were productive, but the pitching is what hurt them most this month. Masahiro Tanaka replacement Chase Whitley was bad and eventually went down with Tommy John surgery. The finally healthy Chris Capuano wasn't much better, though with Adam Warren looking sharp, at least Tanaka seems poised to take Capuano's spot when he returns to the team in Seattle on Wednesday. Michael Pineda was phenomenal through the first few weeks, which featured a record-tying 16 strikeout game, but he hasn't been as sharp in his most recent couple starts. Neither Nathan Eovaldi nor CC Sabathia were particularly inspiring, and outside of Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Chasen Shreve, the bullpen did not offer much relief at all. Although "Strikeout Factory" Jacob Lindgren is up with the team, his three walks and a homer allowed in just 3 1/3 innings might scare the Yankees enough to option him, even though David Carpenter and Esmil Rogers have been far more disastrous.
So how has Cashman fared in his approval rating for the other months of 2015?
It's up to you, Pinstripe Alley. After May, do you still approve of Cashman's work? Would you have done anything differently? Vote in the poll and let us know.