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New York Yankees Quarter-Season Review and Awards

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New York Yankees Quarter-Season Review and Awards
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Yankees fans have seen a lot of swings like this from their quarter-season team MVP this year.

COMMENTARY | Well, nearly a quarter (40 games) of the 2013 New York Yankees' season has already passed. And as the late Phil Rizzuto would say, "Holy cow!"

What a season it has been for these underdog Yanks.

After a rash of injures had them written off by most experts before the season, the Yankees stand in first place (25-15) in the American League East, two games ahead of the second-place Baltimore Orioles.

This may come as a surprise to many, but not me. They wear pinstripes, after all.

These are the New York Yankees. There is something special about putting on that uniform, and it seems that no matter who goes down for this team (and it feels like just about everyone has), someone else seems to inevitability step up, whether you have heard of him or not.

And most likely you haven't.

Good luck naming the 25-man roster. The Yanks are getting hit by the injury bug harder than the Seattle Mariners hit Phil Hughes on May 15.

While Curtis Granderson's return from the disabled list will help make this lineup look slightly more familiar, the amount of "has been's" and "never will be's" that Joe Girardi is sending out there on a nightly basis is quite disorienting, to say the least.

Yet, here we are on May 16 and the Yankees have the second-best record in the American league. Mind-boggling for sure, but can it be sustained?

Only time will tell, but I have a good feeling about this, Yankees fans. It's going to be a fun summer.

Now, time to hand out some hardware.

MVP: Robinson Cano

After some brief early-season struggles, Cano has certainly figured it out.

With a slash line (BA/OBP/SLG) of .301/.345/.552, Cano is tied for the team lead in batting average and home runs (10) and has driven in a team-high 25 RBIs.

With essentially every other big bat lost to injury, Cano has carried the weight of the Evil Empire on his shoulders and has delivered in impressive fashion.

It's not easy playing with these kinds of expectations, yet Cano has made his performance look routine.

Runner-up: Vernon Wells

I mentioned that Cano was tied for the team lead in batting average and home runs. With whom?

This guy, Vernon Wells.

A guy the Yankees didn't even have on the roster five days before opening day. A guy whom was given up on by just about everyone, and then naturally becomes a star for a team that sorely needed one.

Forget about the contract that he's no longer worth. Wells is playing like it is 2006 again. So far, he's been worth every penny.

CY YOUNG: Mariano Rivera

What more can you say about the greatest of all time?

Coming off ACL surgery, Mariano hasn't missed a beat. He looks as good as ever, going a perfect 16-for-16 in save opportunities this season with a 1.56 ERA.

His only longer streak to start a season came in 2008 when he started a ridiculous 28-for-28. Rivera is the reason the Yankees' record in one-run games is an impressive 8-2.

It is sad knowing this is the Sandman's last season, but it appears he will be going out on top. Yankees fans, let's enjoy this legend while we still can.

Runner-up: Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda has been by far the best pitcher in the Yanks' rotation this season. He is 5-2 with a stingy 2.31 ERA.

Maybe my nostalgia got the best of me in handing this award to Mo, but Kuroda has been nearly as spectacular this season.

With CC Sabathia having been less than ace-like thus far, Kuroda's dominance has been even that more valuable.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Adam Warren

No, he may not be the most important man in the Yankees' bullpen this season, but Adam Warren is showing that he can certainly get it done at the big-league level.

After a nightmarish major-league debut last June at Yankee Stadium, the 25-year-old rookie has really put that behind him and shined in long relief, pitching to the tune of a 1.45 ERA.

With the injury to Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes seemingly having forgotten how to pitch, there may be a chance for Warren to sneak into the rotation at some point this year.

GOLD GLOVE: Brett Gardner

It's amazing that Brett Gardner has never won a Gold Glove, and he still might not this year. But there is comfort in knowing this speedster is out there protecting the monuments in center field.

He is by far the Yankees' most valuable defender, and the reason why Granderson is now residing in left field.

Yup, I can get used to diving catches like this.

And runs being saved like this.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Joe Girardi

And, yes, I'm talking the real Manager of the Year Award. If the Yankees can keep this up, Girardi deserves it.

When over $100 million of your regular roster goes on the disabled list, you have to start getting creative. Joe Girardi has sent out lineups that make the Miami Marlins look like murderer's row.

OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit. But you get the point.

In a season that seemed lost before it even started, Girardi has made us remember to never bet against the New York Yankees.

Tobias Rosen is from northeast Pennsylvania. He has been an avid Yankees follower his entire life. He is the creator of the recently launched sports blog Not Quite Grantland.

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