Record this week: 2-3 (0-2 against the Orioles, 2-1 against the Rays)
The Yankees lost two rough games to the Orioles this week before salvaging a series win against the Rays and snapping a five game losing streak in the process. New York could've made a major playoff push this week, but their lack of offense doomed them in Baltimore and almost cost them a couple more games in Tampa. New York now sits seven games back in the division and three and a half back of the second Wild Card. While that seems like a lot, we all need to remember that there are still 40 games left. The Yankees aren't out of anything just yet, but someone on their team needs to figure out to hit, and fast.
Jacoby Ellsbury's wretched road trip - After being named Position Player of the Week last week, Ellsbury had a miserable time of it in Baltimore and Tampa Bay, notching just one base hit in 20 at bats. At least he got an RBI with that hit (a one-run single in Sunday's win), but still, Ellsbury could not get anything going over the past five games. While he's not going to bring the power most hitters in the three-hole would, the Yankees simply have little to no chance of sneaking into the playoffs if their big prize of the offseason can't at least get on base.
Bullpen depth eroding in August - The bullpen has been one of the Yankees biggest strengths all year long, mainly due to the tremendous performances of David Robertson (1.99 FIP, 13.99 K/9) and Dellin Betances (1.88 FIP, 13.38 K/9). However, for a good bit of the season, Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley contributed to making the Yankee pen one of the best in the majors. While Robertson and Betances have continued to be excellent, Warren and Kelley have faded of late, especially Warren. Warren has posted a 5.46 ERA and a 4.06 FIP since the beginning of June, and has a 5.63 FIP in August. Kelley's been better, if inconsistent. After a rough return in June from the DL, Kelley managed a 1.59 FIP in July, but he's run into trouble again this month, as his 4.54 FIP and 11.12 ERA in August will attest to. The only good thing about this problem is it may be easily addressed, as the Yankees have Tyler Webb in Triple-A and Jacob Lindgren, the Strikeout Factory, in Double-A, and both seemed poised to be called up in September.
Position Player of the Week: Mark Teixeira
Tex has struggled over the past month and a half - he hit just .203 in July with a 94 wRC+, and the .375 slugging percentage that accompanied those is certainly not what anyone wants from one of the guys in the heart of their order. While he continued to struggle to start August (and dealt with another injury, this time to his thumb), Teixeira finally picked it up this week, hitting .316 over the past five games and even belting a home run in the series finale against the Rays. While his power has been pretty much absent since June, he at least found a way to do some damage against the O's and Rays. Since everyone else was pretty miserable with the bat this week, Tex gets the nod here.
Pitcher of the week: Michael Pineda
Shane Greene pitched a better game on Saturday - snapping the Yankees losing streak and striking out a career high ten batters in six innings - but Pineda's outing against the Orioles means more to the Yankees' postseason chances. If the Yankees are going to make a run, they'll need Pineda to replace one of their fill-in starters in the rotation, and his five inning, one run performance on Wednesday should give everyone hope that he can be just as devastating as he was early in the year. Pineda should be a big boost to the rotation, and after such an electrifying start, it's great to see him finally back on the mound.