Already 100 games into the 2012 campaign, the New York Yankees are playing .600 baseball, with 60 wins to go against their 40 losses. This solid percentage has been achieved despite the fact that not a single player is having what you could in any way describe as a career year.
The Yankees have overcome, to this point, injuries to vital players, including Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez, building an impressive margin in the American League East.
Hitting - C-Plus
Mark Teixeira is the only New York batter on a pace to record 100 runs batted in, with his 71, including some big ones of late. Robinson Cano has hit .344 in July, but I would sure like to see a lot more hustle on some of those ground balls he rolls over to the right side of the infield. Derek Jeter still leads the club with 128 base hits, with an outside shot of accumulating 200 if he can get 72 in the last 62 contests. Eric Chavez, at third since Rodriguez has been out with his hand malady, is just 2 for his last 30 at-bats and bears close watching.
The addition of Ichiro Suzuki should help in the outfield. Curtis Granderson continues to flash impressive power, but he is all or nothing, with the potential to strike out nearly 200 times this year. Nick Swisher runs hot and cold, as always, while Andruw Jones can look as if he is 25 years old one day and 45 the next, trying to pull every pitch he encounters. Russell Martin runs into a pitch every now and then, and his .300 on-base percentage makes his .182 average more palatable. Chris Stewart and Jayson Nix are better than I ever expected in backup roles. Raul Ibanez will look dead in the water and then come through with a huge at-bat.
Starting Pitching - C-Plus
CC Sabathia has been able to wriggle off the hook from a few losses with the help of the offense; he has not looked like an ace. New York has won the last eight out of nine times Hiroki Kuroda has started. He typically will give the Yanks at least seven solid frames per outing. Phil Hughes continues to give up a bushel of homers, but he has been able to keep men off the bases prior to serving up gopherballs, limiting the damage. Ivan Nova is 10-4, but features a high earned run average and he has allowed 11 more hits than innings pitched. Freddy Garcia has given the Yankees at least five innings in each of his recent starts since Andy Pettitte's departure from the rotation due to injury.
Bullpen - B-Plus
Rafael Soriano has been more than adequate as the closer. Despite being saddled with a loss to the Red Sox on July 28 due to some outfield misadventures by Granderson, Soriano has converted 26 saves with a 1.98 ERA. David Robertson looks like he is settling back into his eighth-inning role. David Phelps has been lights out in July, striking out batters at a hectic pace. Clay Rapada continues to overachieve as a lefty specialist, but Boone Logan has watched his ERA rise from 2.19 on June 19 to his current 3.55 due to some rough appearances the last few weeks. Chad Qualls and Cody Eppley will never be more than mop-up men. Joe Girardi should not trust either to pitch with the game in the balance.
I have been a fan of the New York Yankees since the middle of the 1960s.