The Yanks Are Getting A Nice Return On Their Money
After a 2013 offseason that saw the New York Yankees sign several free agents to contracts worth in excess of $486 million, the Bronx Bombers find themselves in first place atop the tough AL East. It has been an eventful time in the Bronx since our last column. Have you heard of a young pitcher named Michael Pineda by chance?
The Dirt On Pine Tar
In my pre-season article on the New York Yankee fantasy sleeper to watch for the upcoming season, I chose Michael Pineda. Yes folks, I accurately predicted that Pineda would return to the form that convinced the Yanks to trade for him prior to the 2012 season. What I did not take into consideration was that Pineda’s low level IQ would cause him to get caught with a neck full of pine tar, a substance that many pitchers use in order to get a better feel for the ball, even after he had been warned against using it in his last start. Does Pineda know anything about discretion? This situation leaves Fantasy Baseball Managers who own Pineda with many questions. How much of Pineda’s great season was the result of his use of the sticky stuff? Is his stellar 1.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP simply a by-product of the little help he was getting from “that dirt” that was on the palm of his hand a week ago and displayed prominently on his neck in his most recent start? Will Pineda be able to put this episode behind him or will this affect the mental aspect of his game and cause problems for your fantasy lineup. Would he be stupid enough to throw caution to the wind and get caught using pine tar again? The biggest question of all is who should you pick up in order to replace Pineda in your lineup? Luckily, I was able to add Wily Peralta and Jonathon Niese, but if you need advice on who you should pick up you can always refer to our top notch waiver wire columns.
Tommy John Pays A Visit To The Bronx
If losing Pineda wasn’t bad enough, the Bronx Bombers’ starting rotation was dealt another blow with the season ending injury to Ivan Nova. Nova will require “Tommy John” surgery and will miss a full calendar year of baseball action. Nova will be the 15th major league pitcher who will undergo TJ surgery so far this season. Vidal Nuno will be replacing Nova’s spot in the rotation. He has struck out 10 batters in 9.1 innings pitched over his last two starts and isn’t owned in many leagues yet. Give him a shot if you are desperate for starting pitching help.
Is CC Riding Back To The Top Of The Rotation?
Thankfully there is a bit of good news regarding the New York Yankee starting rotation. I must admit that as a Yankee fan I was very concerned with the early season woes of perennial Yankee ace CC Sabathia. To his credit Sabathia has battled back and put together two consecutive quality starts in which he has given up just 3 runs in 14 innings while striking out 14 batters. He notched important wins against the AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays and the hated Red Sox. Are Sabathia’s pitching problems now in his rear view mirror? First let’s see how he fares against former Yankee Robinson Cano in his next start.
Tanaka Extends His Regular Season Winning Streak To 27
Do you need more good news regarding the Yankee rotation? Just say the words Masahiro Tanaka. He has been worth every penny that the Yankees have paid him and if you own him on your fantasy team just consider the spot in your draft where you picked him up. Having been drafted in the middle rounds of most fantasy drafts, Tanaka is one of the most valuable fantasy pitchers in the game today. With a 3-0 record, he has maintained his poise even with the media frenzy watching his every move. He doesn’t get rattled. If he gives up a run scoring hit or even back to back homeruns he just bears down and mows blows away the competition.
One Way Or Another Ellsbury Is Making Sure The Red Sox Pay
So far the big money that the Yanks gave Jacoby Ellsbury has been money well spent. The addition of Ellsbury provided the Yankees with a solid outfielder who when healthy, can change the course of a game with his knack for rattling a pitcher with his speed. In addition the Yanks helped themselves by taking Ellsbury out of the Red Sox’s lineup. With the Red Sox having a sub .500 record thus far and having lost five out of seven games they’ve played against the Yankees this year, Ellsbury’s .345 BA and 6 RBI in 29 at bats against the Bosox looms large. If you picked up Ellsbury with a late first round or early second round pick you are pretty happy with yourself right about now.
Bomber Bats Are Heating Up
Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano all seem to slowly be finding their swing and should begin to be paying dividends in your fantasy baseball lineups. As the weather warms up so should their bats, so sit back and reap the benefits.
The Closer Is Back
For those of you concerned with the save category, David Robertson thankfully is showing no lingering effects from the groin injury that forced him to the DL.