With the New York Yankees finishing up their 102nd regular season game today down in Texas, they stand six and a half games out of first place in the division and three games out of the second wild card spot.
The Yankees have played all year with a depleted squad. They’re stars have mostly spent the season in the shadows dealing with nagging injuries while the team tries to pick up the slack.
It is no secret that the Yankees have struggled. From their ace having an earned run average in the mid four’s to their lineup’s constant inability to score some runs. The team that is referred to as “The Bronx Bombers” has failed to live up to that nickname.
With that being said, you can make a strong case that the majority of their struggles can be blamed on unlucky fortune.
Before the season even started, the Yankees were without their home run hitting center fielder Curtis Granderson, three time MVP Alex Rodriguez, gold glove first basemen Mark Teixeira and question marks surrounding the Captain, Derek Jeter.
102 games later, the Yankees have endured even more major injuries including multiple setbacks to Jeter which has allowed him to only play one game in pinstripes all year, another lengthy trip to disabled list for Granderson and the elimination of Teixeira for the remainder of the year.
Not to mention other injuries that have severely handicapped the Yankees season including their starting catcher, three starting pitchers, the starting third basemen, and three utility players.
With all the injuries, the constant distractions with Rodriguez and the Biogenesis scandal, the Yankees have indeed prevailed. Few bright spots on the roster have allowed the Yankees to carry on, nonetheless they have delivered in these times of need.
Second basemen Robinson Cano has been the surefire MVP for this team. In a lineup lacks power, average and presence in general, Cano has been one of the few bright spots.
In the rotation, starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda has been a stud on the mound. He currently has the second best earned run average of starters in the American league only behind Seattle’s Felix Hernandez.
The strength of the 2013 Yankees has been their bullpen. From Shawn Kelly to Mariano Rivera, the bullpen has delivered almost every time and is responsible for a great deal of the success the team has achieved thus far.
With a big series starting tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees have an opportunity to make the AL East race a whole lot tighter.
The Rays are just half a game back from the leading Red Sox in the east and have been the hottest team in baseball over the past four weeks.
If the Yankees can take the series or even possibly sweep the Rays, they would be just three games back from the first wild card spot.
With Jeter close to making his second return to the lineup and Granderson just a couple weeks away from doing the same, the Yankees are in a decent spot and can make a run at the playoffs.
Not to mention a move or two before the trade deadline, the Yankees can shorten the gap between them and the Red Sox considerably.
Look to the Yankees to improve as the season continues. The injured players won’t be hurt for long and the good players playing poorly like CC Sabathia won’t continue that trend for long.