Let’s talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of New York Yankee fantasy baseball.
Many fantasy baseball pundits have been waiting for Yangervis Solarte's early season success to fade but every time falls into a mini slump, he picks himself up, dusts himself off and starts hitting again. We are in the middle of May and Solarte, eligible in some leagues at the 3B, SS, 2B and OF positions, is hitting .313 with 5 HR, 24 RBI, an OBP of .387 and a .887 OPS. Not too shabby for a career minor leaguer!
Mark Teixeira seems to have gotten his mojo back. Showing no ill effects from a wrist injury that all but KO’ed his 2013 season, Tex has hit nine homeruns since April 24th, the most in the majors during that span. Teixeira hasn’t only been getting it done with the long ball, he’s even gotten his batting average up to a respectable .265. He looks like a good buy low candidate to me.
Dellin Betances has been very effective working out of the Yankee bullpen this season. How effective? How about a performance where he struck out 6 in 2 1/3 innings of work ? For the season Betances has 42 strikeouts in just over 24 innings pitched with a 1.85 ERA and a sparkling .945 WHIP.
With the Yanks needing all the help that they can get in their starting rotation, Chase Whitley provided some hope in his major league debut against the Mets. He struck out four and walked two in 4 2/3 shutout innings. He has earned another start against the hapless Cubbies. Keep an eye on him.
Masahiro Tanaka continues to dominate with a 6-0 record, 2.17 ERA, .913 WHIP and 66 K and just 7 BB in 58 innings pitched. Where would the Yankees be without him?
Jacoby Ellsbury who was batting .346 at the beginning of the month of May has been mired in a slump that has seen his batting average plummet to .276. He does have 11 stolen bases on the season but with one home run thus far, he has not yet taken advantage of the short porch in right field in Yankee Stadium.
Brian McCann has also been slumping mightily and is hitting an uncharacteristically low .225 with 6 HR and 18 RBI. He did hit a couple of homeruns so maybe there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Shawn Kelley, who admirably filled the closer’s role when David Robertson went down with an injury early this season, was placed on the DL with a back injury. Kelley is not much of a fantasy impact player, unless you are in a league that calculates holds, but the Yankee bullpen has been one their strengths and he will be missed.
Carlos Beltran joined the Yankees walking wounded as he was placed on the DL with an elbow injury. He was given a cortisone shot and may yet need to have surgery which could sideline him anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. After getting off to a hot start, Beltran had been slumping as of late, batting .234 with 5 homeruns and 15 RBI. If Beltran should need surgery it could turn....
The Very Ugly
Losing three of your five starting pitchers to injury, like the Yankees have, is just plain old ugly. Ivan Nova had Tommy John surgery and is done for the year.
Michael Pineda is dealing with a muscle injury and won’t be back in the rotation until early June. Pineda had gotten off to a terrific start and Fantasy Baseball Owners, and the Yanks of course, hope he can pick up where he left off.
CC Sabathia, 5.28 ERA, 1.47 WHIP has been placed on the DL and is receiving stem cell treatment on his knee. He is not expected back until July. Although still widely owned in fantasy circles, the only fantasy worthy contribution from Sabathia has been his 9.39 K/9 rate.
Unfortunately for the Yankees Hiroki Kuroda has continued to prove unreliable with a 4.61 ERA and a 3-3 won/loss record but the peripherlas under the hood indicate a turnaround is coming.
Vidal Nuno, who replaced Nova, has been shaky at best and is not worth adding to your fantasy team at this point.